Greenhouse models of Venus' High surface temperature, as constrained by Pioneer Venus measurements Journal Article uri icon



  • Recent measurements conducted from the Pioneer Venus probes and orbiter have provided a significantly improved definition of the solar net flux profile, the gaseous composition, temperature structure, and cloud properties of Venus' lower atmosphere. Using these data, we have carried out a series of one‐dimensional radiative‐convective equilibrium calculations to determine the viability of the greenhouse model of Venus' high surface temperature and to assess the chief contributors to the greenhouse effect. New sources of infrared opacity include the permitted transitions of SO2, CO, and HCl as well as opacity due to several pressure‐induced transitions of CO2. We find that the observed surface temperature and lapse rate structure of the lower atmosphere can be reproduced quite closely with a greenhouse model that contains the water vapor abundance reported by the Venera spectrophotometer experiment. Thus the greenhouse effect can account for essentially all of Venus' high surface temperature. The prime sources of infrared opacity are, in order of importance, CO2, H2O, cloud particles, and SO2, with CO and HCl playing very minor roles.

publication date

  • December 30, 1980

has restriction

  • closed

Date in CU Experts

  • June 10, 2014 4:00 AM

Full Author List

  • Pollack JB; Toon OB; Boese R

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0148-0227

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 8223

end page

  • 8231


  • 85


  • A13